By Mitch Abramson
Antonio Margarito expects to dispose of Miguel Cotto quicker this time around in their Dec. 3 rematch compared to when he faced Cotto the first time in 2008 and stopped him in 11 rounds. Margarito wants to “jump on him right from the beginning,” he told BoxingScene.com during a recent press conference to hype the rematch and believes the added weight of their fight will only help him.
“I don’t want to say confident but I feel my preparation is going to lead me to a victory and quicker,” Margarito said through an interpreter. “My plan is- everybody knows what kind of style I have. I go in, I put a lot of pressure on my opponent. I’m going to jump on him right from the beginning to hopefully take him out quicker.”
He believes the extra weight- the fight is contracted at 153 pounds for Cotto’s WBA super welterweight title- is to his advantage. The two fought at welterweight the first time around and Margarito was able to stalk Cotto and push him around the ring.
“I just think it’s a weight issue,” he said. “Now I’m going to be fighting him at 153 pounds, super welterweight. I think that’s an advantage for me, my height, my body size. We fight at 147 pounds and look what I did to him, but now at 153 pounds, super welterweight, I think I can do more damage.”
Margarito believes the hand-wrap controversy is behind him and shouldn’t be a sub-plot to their rematch.
“The people have a right to their opinion,” Margarito said. “But I know that I’m a clean fighter.”
The controversy and the implication that he might have loaded his gloves when he first faced Cotto had nothing to do with his desire to face Cotto again, he said.
“Not at all,” he said. “This is a great fight for the fans and this is an opportunity for myself to become a world champion again.”
In facing Cotto, he doesn’t feel he’s fighting for his reputation of being a clean fighter.
“I can’t put that kind of pressure on myself,” he said. “I have to get ready for a difficult fight. If I carry that into the ring, into the training camp, it’s just going to affect me. My goal is to get ready to fight a good fight against Cotto.”
Mitch Abramson covers boxing for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com.